We’re in the money!

No, seriously, I’m not, so if anyone has got a spare thousand, or two, I’d really appreciate it. But on a more serious note… Back to the 1930’s, and…Inspired by this article, handily linked by a lovely friend

http://filmsinreview.com/2010/09/24/the-gold-diggers-in-hollywood/2/

One reason I’ve noticed for numerous retirements among chorus line dancers, was the fact that after a couple of years (maybe more, maybe less?), they didnt get worn out by the non stop nature of their work, but they went off and got married. The thing thats significant about that fact, is that they werent tending to be marrying their boyhood sweetheart, or anyone like that, a large number of them got married to wealthy men, a number of whom seem to have been a ‘little bit more mature’ than their new young wives.

Of course, the burning question I’m wondering is whether these wealthy men were after a trophy, attractive wife, who had an element of fame, in the sense they’d probably seen them dancing in chorus lines in the movies, or did these young ladies, with their moment of fame, go searching for a wealthy husband, as the article suggests, going gold digging?

My suspicion would be there would be six of one, half dozen of the other, but it makes for an intriguing question, especially in the depression era. But were those men hooked by ladies looking for a comfortable life, or did those young girls get influenced by money being waved in front of their eyes? Hmm?

No, before you ask, from as much as I can tell, Clara Johnson was neither gold digging, or gold dug, for want of a better term, but given the limited info she gave up, and the fact that she might have been coy with details, who knows? 😉

But fine, I guess if I’m young, pretty and talented, and some slightly older man waves a lot of money in your face, to go off and be his wife, I might not have turned him down either!

Right, video time. If anyone hasnt guessed the song, I’m shocked. Its Ginger Rogers at her best, pre Astaire days. Some pig latin thrown in for good measure, and yes, a certain Miss Johnson is among the dancing chorus line here! Song actually starts at 1:02 if you want to jump straight to it.

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Gang On The Run

OK, tonight is going to be one of that occasional series where I take a story I’ve read, and develop it into a blog. Given where its posted, its not hard to work out that things might not work out for the best for the group in the Escape Room, but read it, and find out

http://192.155.80.152/EntrancingEscapeRoom/index.html

Yes, I know I’m weird, but I have to say that this sounds a fun place to go! What a way to lose your mind lol!

OK, blog stuff. I’d never seen one of those Escape Room places until last May, when I saw one in Hollywood, on one of the corners of a street, along Hollywood Boulevard. I admit it, the details outside appealed to my fascination, so I tried looking up more about it online. Big snag was, its a group thing to do, and I was on my own. So no, it never happened! Besides which, I wasnt sure if I really had the money to try it on my own, even if it had been possible. But fine, there were a couple of concepts that appealed no end (I think one was a mental asylum type place), but wasnt to be.

Since then, one has opened up in Huddersfield, quite close to where I get off the bus in town in the morning. No, I havent even looked into it, given that I assume all these places are designed for small groups, and not for one person to do. In truth now, given the state of my back, its quite possible that the chance of me ever doing anything like this, is now probably gone. I know my readers are notorious for not ever commenting on my posts, but if anyone has done an escape room adventure, and knows what they’re like, please let me know. If you dont want to comment here, and I can fully understand, then just email me, at robotunit8@hotmail.com and let me know that way. Fine, no one will, but no harm in asking!

And yes, I know, compared to the one in the story, even if you lose, then I’m sure they are very tame in comparison lol! Who, me, want to submit my mind to control by a machine, oh surely not?

But yes, if anyone knows, and wants to quell my curiosity, then let me know here, or by email, pretty please.

The video, bit of a clue in the title, if not blindingly obvious!

Review Of The Year, Part one

Now, normally when you do a review of the year, and you’re splitting it in two, you’d do two spells of 6 months, right? But when I looked back on my year, it took me about 30 seconds (if that long) to work out that apart from one event in May, not much happened for the first 8 months, then a hell of a lot happened in the last 4! So to avoid a 500 word blog tonight, and a 3000 word one tomorrow, I’m doing this on an 8/4 basis this year.

In truth, the highlights of the first 2 months were getting the news I’d passed probation period at work, and getting a passport in my new name. Oh, and around the same time, my first moments of DWP fame, in an LGBT sense, with an interview from work, about life as a LGBT woman in the Department. Which of course led to something that will be mentioned in Part 2, but for now…

No, diplomacy means I’m not mentioning a certain event that happened in the US, in January, but you all know what I think of him, and his actions, so lets leave it there.

Of course, my first flight as Harlean Carpenter, was in May, going back to Hollywood, or more strictly, Los Angeles. Lets just say the whole apartment thing this time around wasnt the success of the previous trip, both in the sense of initially booking an apartment, and then the landlord deciding he wanted to decline the booking, because he hadnt put in his price rise for the New Year. Fine, I thought, until he told me it was done, and suddenly the price had risen by over 20%, nearly 25% in fact! So I started again, thought I’d found somewhere decent as a replacement, but it didnt live up to all its claims. Dont get me wrong, it was nice enough, just didnt have all the facilities it claimed it had.

The funniest moment was a delightful Thai takeaway I had found 18 months earlier, and the lady still remembered me the moment I walked in, despite that. Its sad to think that by the next time I visit, she will almost certainly be gone, as it will be a few years before I get there again (unless I get a role offer), and I doubt she was that young this year, so…but she was amazing!

The other big highlights that will stick with me, would be 2 Louise Brooks silent films, viewed at the historic Egyptian Theater, a guided Hollywood walk given by a wonderful lady that I like to see as a friend, a ‘better than I would buy’ seat at a Dodgers game, thanks to another friend, with the added bonus of it being a game that Kershaw pitched at! Lastly, there was a wonderful Harlow display at the Hollywood Museum, which was a delight to see. Oh, and thanks to the Metro, getting to Santa Monica far easier than ever before!

In truth, I have no idea when I’ll be back, unless I get an offer, which I would have to say is pretty unlikely. But never say never… Certainly, due to something that will be mentioned shortly, walking up the hill to where Harlow rests at Forest Lawn would probably be beyond me now, but anyway…

In July, 2 things happened, one good, one bad. The good one was, that knowing that Clara Johnson’s middle initial was E, and finding a few images of a chorus line dancer/Goldwyn Girl, and putting two and two together, when you find a dancing match, named Elaine Johnson, who has a career that seems to tie in to Clara’s, well I jumped on the issue, and joy, actually found 3 pictures of her from a credited movie promotion shoot. Of course I cant be 100% sure its one and the same, but enough coincidences for me to say it is. In fact, as you’ll find out tomorrow, this isnt the end of that story! Yes, a few new pictures, wow! I’d still love to find her married name, so I’d have a chance of paying my respects if, and when I get back to LA.

The bad thing, my back, after giving me support for about 59 years, decided it had had enough, and snapped. Quite literally, though not in too severe a way, fingers crossed. Yes, osteoporosis had taken its toll on me! Painkillers, and other meds (been tweaked a couple of times) keep it bearable, but yes, its fair to say old age is beginning to catch up with me. It eventually led to me cutting back to 4 days a week at work, with which I can just about get by financially, but holidays will need to be cut back on now, for sure.

August marked 1 year in the new job, and in truth, apart from a dream acting offer, I cant see me leaving before I get to retire in just over 6 years time. Yes, I really am that old lol! The rest of the year, and a few landmarks, tomorrow!

Right, the video. One of the few modern groups I have much time for, are The Killers. I now love them even more now I know that each Christmas, they record a song, and give all royalties to charity! This is the 2013 song, which is apt given where I was in May, and even more so when you see something I post tomorrow!

This weeks hotshot, an acting star?

So yes, fine, who wants to be my agent lol? I’ll even promote you on my Women In Media page, hows that for a deal? Yes, this one

https://womennmedia.com/profile/harlean-carpenter/

Oh fine, strictly because its for people mainly working behind the scenes, my main section there is for writing, but yes, the acting definitely gets a mention there as well. In truth, given the current state of my body, the writing might be the better option to take up on, but fine, once an actress, always an actress, as they say. Let me also say that if anyone is looking for any other women for roles they deserve to get the opportunity for, within the media industry, just go here https://womennmedia.com/ and start checking them out!

I’ll be honest, I dont think I’m in any danger of over stretching any agent of mine, but who knows lol? Yes, I know, I might be limited to sitting down roles, or wheelchair roles at present, but hey, there must be a few of those about, surely? And hey, folks, giving those roles to people who actually need that sort of work might be nice. Who me, militant, oh surely not?

No, at my age, I’m not expecting my acting career to even match Clara (Elaine) Johnson, let alone become a star, but just one nice role, before officially retiring (or is that giving up?) on the acting career would be nice. Equally, if someone wants an ‘interesting’ sci fi/sci fact script written, then hey, equally give me a try!

And yeah, if you want me to wear something weird/interesting, then dont think I’d be scared off, believe me, I’ve seen, and worn a few interesting outfits over the years.

The video. Well, I did use this a couple of years ago, so if you’ve been around that long, apologies. But I suspect most havent, or dont look at the videos anyway, so…

Memories Are Made Of This

I know, strictly the baseball playoffs started 2 days ago, with the 2 wild card games, but in a sense the serious stuff starts tonight! Not that the 2 games so far have been dull (31 runs scored in 2 games already!), but now the maneuvering stuff starts tonight, with the American League Divisional series. Tomorrow sees the start of the National League matches, including the Dodgers, but fine, for now I’ll root for the Red Sox in the AL, given the Kansas City Royals arent there this year, but more on them shortly.

Its hard to believe now, it seems so much longer ago, but just 2 years ago, I had the thrill of watching a lot of the playoffs from a wonderful apartment in the Hollywood Hills. To say that was an amazing 4 weeks would be putting it mildly. Sadly, as I have previously reported, returning to that wonderful home from home on Verbena Drive isnt going to happen, as a mere few months later, the owners of the whole home (the apartment was a separate building, below the main home) sold the place, so never again. Not that the place I stayed in this year was bad, but it wasnt the same.

It was a series of mixed emotions for me, the Dodgers not lasting that long, but the Royals kept winning, and winning, and indeed, on my last night in that apartment, I saw them win Game 1 of the World Series, in a crazy number of innings, against the Mets, and of course, a week or so later, they won the World Series, and I really felt part of it, because in truth, I was, because I saw them live so often, which I could never have done at home in the UK.

And here we are, 2 years on, and I get to see some of the first divisional series match tonight, before bedtime, between Houston, and Boston, because it starts at 9 pm over here. Given work tomorrow, I wont see the end though, for sure. Tomorrow night, or more strictly in my time, early Saturday morning, the Dodgers will start their journey, hopefully further than 2 years ago, fingers crossed.

And oh, I kept the streak, the 1 game I saw in a stadium this year, both teams are in the play offs! Yes, that night, in about 12 (or 13?) innings, they beat Arizona! Guess who they meet in the playoffs, yes, same team!

But yes, for now, I’ll look back 2 years, to that Royals Championship, and hope that maybe this year, my NL team, the Dodgers can match them.

Yes, tonights video is black and white, and could well be from a time when the team was the Brooklyn Dodgers, just maybe?

Miss Clara Elaine Johnson, I assume?

Those who have been around a while, will know of the past life regression I did a few years back, and discovered I was a 20’s/30’s movie actress, though far, far less famous than Miss Harlow. Yes, that very modest actress, and dancer Clara E Johnson. Yes, for once I’m including that middle initial, because it may well hold a lot of significance.

No, I didnt find out that middle initial, or a few other details at the time of regression, but thankfully a chance to look at the census details for LA in 1930, managed to give me more than a few clues. So after that, I knew she was born in 1905, in Oklahoma, and came to LA in 1925, via Texas. Whether any more of her family travelled with her, no idea.

There are a couple of things that I didnt discover, one was her married name, so I have never been able to trace her last resting place. Nor have I managed to find out what the E stood for. Except, that maybe now…?

One of the Facebook groups included a number of women, who were part of the Goldwyn Girls dance troupe back then, and someone mentioned a list of the full troupe, who served over the years it existed. No, I didnt find a Clara Johnson there, before you ask. But what I did find, was an Elaine Johnson! Yes, that E! And guess what, typing that name into Google, bought up 4 pictures of the said Elaine Johnson. Oh fine, here’s a couple,

Cute, isnt she?

Fine, now the disclaimer, I have no literal evidence that this is my Miss Johnson, as it is possible there was another Johnson, with an E in her name, as a dancer, at the right time in history, but…for me, its a good enough match, thats my girl!

Agreed, I still have that annoying challenge of finding out her married name, and trying to trace her last resting place, but at least I now know how she ‘made a decent living’ as she quoted me, and what she looked like. So yes, to say thats a special moment for me, is putting it very mildly! No, Clara Elaine Johnson, until I find your last resting place, that search isnt finally over, but thats a massive step en route for me!

Video time came down to 2 choices. An old time dance number that might have had her in it, or a song that sums up what Clara has meant to me, and yes, its the latter. I’m sure if anyone had said Marc Almond, and Gene Pitney would work as a duo in the late 80’s, they’d have looked at you strangely. But yes, it worked brilliantly

I will take all the memories home with me

So this is it, the last blog from LA for a considerable period of time at least, if ever again. I know, I could come back again, and may even need to come back again sooner than that, but being practical, I have many other places to see, some for the first time, some for repeat visits, so its going to be a while, if ever again. And yes, at my age, with the distance involved, and I’m sure the deterioration of my physical health, which is far from perfect even now, I’m sure I wont be able to do as much then, as I can now, anyway. I’m already suspecting that delights like walking up the long hill at Forest Lawn might be beyond me by then at least, but we will see.

To be fair, if you’d told me back in October ’15, that my next holiday would be back here, I would have laughed at you, but its happened. I guess I just wanted to show this city that I’d battled through everything that life had thrown at me, and got here again. But now thats done…?

In some ways today has been a light day, I havent actually left Hollywood. However, I spent a lot of the day on my feet, walking, so maybe not as light as all that? It was actually interesting going on a guided walking tour of Hollywood, where I knew the guide! I know, end of holiday, but in truth, it didnt matter, as I got to visit lots of old buildings that I’d never have got into myself. Oh fine, the one that amused me the most, has to be Musso and Frank’s! Yes, I finally got to go in there, if only for coffee, but at least I now know what it actually looks like from the inside. Of course, for works of fiction, thats a mere technicality, but at least I’ve made it there now. Yes, its every bit as impressive as I’d been led to believe. So if I ever want to use it in a story again lol…?

The other thing I’d already decided was where my last big meal in town would be, and though its not bargain basement, its cheaper than that legendary place. So I settled for the 50’s feel of Mels Diner, for one last time. After that, a couple of final, final goodbyes, at the star, and prints of Jean Harlow, before heading back to base. I do wish there was a star to the uncredited chorus girls/bit part actresses of the world, but no, there isnt, so I just said goodbye to Clara Johnson generally, as I turned off the Boulevard for the last time, on foot at least.

What can I say? You can take a woman out of Yorkshire, but you cant take Yorkshire out of a woman? Yes, I stopped off at a gorgeous, quirky, vintage clothing store on the way back, and saw the most gorgeous, silver flapper dress, really looked the part. Had my size too, but I didnt get it. Why? Because I cant justify spending $65 (plus tax, I’m sure) on a dress I have no idea when, or where I would ever wear it. So yes, I know I’ll regret it, but it stayed in the shop. I could get it in the morning (shop opens at 11, I have to be ready to go at 12.30, and its about 5 minutes walk), but I know I wont.

The only walk I’m planning at present to do in the morning, is a short trip around the block, so that I can walk a little way up Beachwood Drive, looking at the Hollywood sign, one more time. No, I’m not going as far as Verbena though, thats far too far for the short period of time I have left ‘in the sun’ of LA.

Yes, thats it for here. Pretty sure you’ll have to wait until Monday for the next blog, I’ll have too much catching up to do on Sunday for that.

The video. I’m surprised I havent used this Elaine Paige classic before, but seemingly I havent (well, on 1 blog at least), so lets use it now